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Discussion Starter #1
First of all, I am not a woodworker. I'm an IT computer person trying to do something without spending a bunch of money. So, thanks in advance to this forum if any of you talented people can help!

I have an Entertainment center that is solid wood and we recently purchased a bigger TV for it. I knew from the measurements that it was very, very close on whether it would fit. I can get the TV into the piece, but it is a very tight fit. What I would love to do to make the thing work better is to router some grooves into each side of the entertainment center so the TV fits with some leeway on either side. It literally has no space between the TV and the wood - it fits that snug.

What I can't seem to find is any way to work on this vertical surface because obviously, I can't take the entertainment center apart to use a router in a controlled environment. I actually have a palm router that I borrowed. Can I make or buy some sort of jig that could be attached to a vertical surface and router some grooves? If I simply got 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep on each side and maybe and inch wide so the TV could have some play, it would be perfect. What sort of bit would I use and is this even possible? It's simply not worth it to me to hire someone to do it, but it seems like it would have a better aesthetic if the TV wasn't just squeezed into the space. Thanks again for any suggestions.
 

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I've done that before but I not sure you would want to. Unless you can turn the cabinet on it's side it's a bit difficult to handle a router standing. Then since it's inside of a cabinet all the dust is going in your face. The easiest router you could use would be a laminate trimmer. You could make a templet and use a templet guide in the base of the router with a straight cut bit but I just marked a line with a sharpie and freehand routed a indentation 1/4" deep and about 4" wide on each side, sanded it a little and stained it.
 

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Best thing to do is find a woodworking buddy. It's not easy to do and could be dangerous if you are not used to using a router. Its pretty simple for an experienced woodworker but not a project for a beginner.
 

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If I had to do what you're describing then I would do the following: use a tape measure and pencil and mark out the area you want routed out.Then with a straight edge, preferably a straight piece of wood, I would use double sided tape and stick it along the line you scribed out where you want routed. Then get a flush trim bit or better yet a pattern bit and route along the straight piece of wood. If you can, get someone to hold a shop vac. Some routers come with a dust collection piece that hooks up to a shop vac. Because doing all that inside is going to cause a lot of dust. At least minimize it with the shop vac. For obvious reasons, you should remove the tv and anything else close and then laying come kind of drop cloth will help with clean up. All I know, is that none of it sounds fun.
 

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If the TV is actually going into the opening even though it is tight, you need to take off very little material.

To take off very little material I would use a sander. I might even hand sand. Put a stop block behind where you want to remove material so that you do not do too far.

I assume that whatever method you use you will refinish that area.

George
 

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you could consider clamping a straight edge to the inside surface, then following along the straight edge with your borrowed router and straight or bowl cutting bit. the edge of the router can follow the straight edge. the plunge action is a little tricky as well as the direction of travel. shallower cuts are easier to control. practice on some scrap first, until confident. if not confident - don't try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice

Thanks to all who offered advice. I ended up using a different router, but it worked for what I was trying to do. My friends router was a battery powered Ryobi and the battery was shot which would have cost
a lot to replace. Plus, I could just see something like that slowing down
and causing all kinds of issues in the middle of things.

I ended up measuring and double-sided taping an old yard stick I cut down to fit. After staining it, it looked better than I thought it would. I actually toyed with the idea of filling it in with black felt because it would have looked like built-in speakers. The TV fits perfectly and actually hides the recessed area. It did make a huge mess, but I cleared the room out before starting and ran the shop vac during breaks. I'm sure a more experienced person could have done it in half the time. Cost more than I wanted because I actually purchased the little router in the picture ($97 at Home Depot). I think I can find other uses for it or could probably sell it easily on my website at work. Can you use something like that to trim the top of doors that stick?

Thanks again!
 

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Is that tight fit with the doors in place or off?
 

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That's what were waiting to hear how close it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The doors on this entertainment center have never been used. We wanted to buy the biggest TV possible and found one that just barely fit with the doors off. Using the router allowed the TV to fit with room on either side of it. Never had any intention of putting the doors back on. They stayed open 24/7 for eight years when the other TV was in there.

The idea now is to take off the mounting brackets the doors used to hang on and install a Sound Bar above the TV to cover in the space since the new TV is wider, but shorter, than the old one. It was just a project that allowed us to get a bigger TV and still use the old entertainment center just like we used it before. Cost me about $110.00, but my wife wanted to move the entertainment center somewhere else and buy one of those new stands to set the new TV on. It all worked out, but now I just need to come up with a wooden mounting system for the sound bar.
 

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One idea is to make a shelf with a back panel, on the back panel drill pocket screw holes to attach it to the bottom of the opening with pocket screws, that will let you close the extra space in and it will give you a shelf to to set the sound bar on
 
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